Category Archives: Favorites

Easy Organic Rhubarb Crisp

Do you grow rhubarb? Time to break out a family recipe I’m in love with! Grandma Purnell made this and reminded me that I need to eat rhubarb EVERYTHING during the spring. A great tip is to freeze it in 1/2″ lengths during the winter so you can grab and go for this quick recipe. Perfect for a summer patio dinner. Drool….

For 4-8 servings you will need:

7c rhubarb in 1/2″ lengths
5 tbsp sugar
1c flour (we use whole wheat, but any flour will do)
1/2c organic coconut sugar (up to 1c if you like it sweeter)
1/2c flour
1/2c quick cook organic oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/2c butter or mix in some coconut butter/oil to achieve similar results
optional: blueberries or strawberries

Step 1 in the vintage curvy bowl. Yes.

Step 1 in the vintage curvy bowl. Yes.

Put the rhubarb into a 10′ casserole dish. Mix the first two amounts of sugar and flour and coat the rhubarb. Combine all of the remaining ingredients until you reach a crumbly mixture. Spread evenly over the top and pat it down lightly. Bake for 40-50min at 375F.

Browned crumble plus soft rhubarb= ready!

Browned crumble plus soft rhubarb= ready!

Serve with a scoop of homemade ice cream, organic whipped cream or some greek yogurt! Although it serves about 8 people, be prepared to go back for 2nds.

ENJOY

ENJOY

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Organic Healthy Hummus

This recipe literally came about because I opened some chickpeas for a snack for my daughter and couldn’t decide what to do with the rest of the can – DUH -make hummus for the first time ever! I have been meaning to make this for ages and am so excited to share my Friday night dip with you all. What better snack for kids than veggies and homemade hummus. This can be varied a few different ways depending on what you have in the cupboard, but the main recipe is solid.

Secret ingredient = NUTRITIONAL YEAST! Sooo what is Nutritional Yeast and why haven’t I used this before you ask? Start sprinkling it on anything! Popcorn is a great place to start but the “vegan cheese” flavor and non-yeast properties make it a must have item in the house.

“Nutritional yeast is packed with nutrition, particularly B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. It’s low in fat, gluten-free (check specific brands for certification), and contains no added sugars or preservatives. Because vitamin B12 is absent from plant foods unless it’s added as a supplement, nutritional yeast that contains B12, such as Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula, is a great addition to the vegan diet.” (lowfatveganblog)

A few of the ingredients including my recycled nutritional yeast shaker

A few of the ingredients including my recycled nutritional yeast shaker

What you will need:

1 15oz can (standard size) of organic chickpeas
the juice of 1 organic lemon
1/4 c organic tahini (available at most grocery stores, often on sale)
1 large clove of organic garlic (try to avoid chinese garlic)
2 tbsp organic olive oil/favorite oil/part flaxseed oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (try the bulk section if you can’t find it anywhere else)
1/2tsp himalayan salt
1/2 tsp cumin
optional: dash of cayenne pepper or paprika to sprinkle color on top

In your blender or food processor (we used the Vitamix) add the tahini and lemon juice and blend until very smooth and even, about a minute. Then add in everything else and mix very well until smooth and creamy looking. You may choose to add more garlic or more oil to reach your desired taste and consistency.

What it looks like completed

What it looks like completed

For toddlers, steam some carrots, broccoli and cauliflower to use in lieu of a cracker or chip. Older kids can skip the steaming and go right for their favorite veggies like peppers, cucumber and celery. Our 13 month old tried to drink the bowl. I would call that a success! Store refrigerated for a few days, if it lasts that long!

Organic chips from Nester's Market come in blue and red for extra pop

Organic chips from Nester’s Market come in blue and red for extra pop

Let me know if you try it!

Adapted from an inspired taste recipe

REAL Homemade Hot Chocolate

It’s no secret that I am a walking advertisement for Blenz Belgium Hot Chocolate. I bring every visitor there and force them to drink amazing chocolate beverages. I also bribe friends to visit me just so we can go there (ie. Sabrina & Jo in Lethbridge and Tina in Oahu, you’re all next) so if you think this tastes good – then you need to come to Kelowna!

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My monkey mug and G&B’s hot chocolate mix

In order to afford life, my husband made me watch their every move so I could create it at home. You will want to pick up an old school hand blender ($5 used) or else you will have to whisk and lose the delicious froth!

You will need:
Your favorite mug, any size
2% or full fat organic milk or alternative unsweetened nut milk
2 rows of HIGH QUALITY white, milk or dark chocolate (even the $4 Beligum bars at WalMart are acceptable, but organic is a bonus)
optional: cream if you have it in the fridge

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My favorite chocolate bar!

Pour your milk into your mug, less a couple of inches to leave room for the chocolate addition. I suggest no more than 1/3 cream, if you choose to make it more rich. It’s perfectly acceptable without the cream. Put on the stove at medium heat, stirring often. While it’s heating up, chop up about 4 pieces of chocolate for a less sweet drink, up to 8 pieces for a chocolate lover’s mug!

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Chop at room temp for easier handling

As soon as the milk is warm (you don’t want it to boil or be too hot), you can throw all of the chocolate in and mix really well. Test the temperature and degree of chocolateness (yes, that is a formal term). Adjustments are easy to make at this point with a little more milk or more chocolate. *One thing I know, is that there is no one perfect recipe to this because this drink is ordered half sweet, three quarters sweet or full sweet so I like to give some room for personal preference*

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Pour into your awesome mug and have a seat… you’ll need to take moment to put your feet up. If you’re really bold, try a mint chocolate bar! YUM! Have you tried making anything like this before? Ideas to take it to the next level?

Homemade Organic Sweet Potato Fries

I literally have been eating this so often that I keep putting the food in my mouth before remembering to take a picture of it!!!

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Arguably my favorite meal- local beef with organic raw cheese over organic lettuce

Kid and adult friendly- here it is:

For 2-3 servings I use (what I make for lunch and eat by myself somedays!):
3-4 organic potatoes
1-2 sweet potatoes or yams
Organic seasoning mix
Paprika or cayenne pepper
High heat organic oil like coconut

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Sweet potato, yam and organic potato mix – an oil spray jar is ideal for this task

1) Heat oven to 375
2) Peel and cut into fry shapes, the smaller the faster it will cook.
3) Oil the pan lightly. Toss fries onto tray. Drizzle evenly with oil (toss them around) so that they are all coated lightly. Season as you wish.
4) Put in oven and flip every ten minutes until browned on a few sides, about 30min.

Hint: if you love crispy fries, pump up the heat to 400+ for the last ten minutes.

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What they look like during first flip (about 10 min)

Serve with your favorite mayo dip or just salted with ketchup. Best addition to your homemade burger night.

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Completed and ready to eat!

Easy vegetarian taco salad

Many pro-animal activists are suggesting we all try to support local and loved meat by eating fewer meals with animal products (even one a week) so that you spend the same amount for better meat! I am a HUGE fan of eating less meat and an even bigger fan of eating CLEAN meat! Don’t use meat-a-tarian excuses because I live with a meat lover. I understand the struggle. Our family testing out these types of recipes is perfect to see how easy or difficult the change can be. According to this recipe, it’s EASY!!! And since taco salad is his favorite weekly meal, the real test was seeing if it tasted good too. He ate two giant plates and packed the rest for lunch. Success!

We never really used beans much for the past three years (sad, I know) except for chocolate bean cake of course! So we invested in some organic beans. We cooked them in a giant pot and froze them into portions appropriate for our family’s size. Any kind of bean can be frozen this way. Then we throw steam them in a pan, until thawed, then add any veggies on hand like onions, carrot, zucchini, cabbage and our favorite MSG-free Mexican seasoning and spices (pre mixed or make your own with cumin, paprika and chili spices etc). Add a small pour of organic tomato sauce to intensify the flavor, and mix well until the carrots are cooked to your liking. Iphone mid-cooking photo and proof I cook for 6 people (we eat a lot!):

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Ingredients side note: Beans used for this particular meal were frozen kidney, canned organic navy and canned organic chickpeas. Organic tomato sauce and spinach from Costco. We also prepare a pot of rice to make it go further!

Then do this (iPhone pics):

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Organic cheese, salsa and sour cream on top are my favorite part! Try it next time you are stuck for ideas. This is an easy 30 minute meal!

Three Easy Steps to be Organic in a Year or Less.

As with most people, our household wasn’t always organic. We certainly didn’t switch to organic overnight either. Having been through the process and watched others do it since, I am fairly certain I have some helpful advice. Do you find yourself saying “but I don’t know where to start?”. If so, you’re in the right place. If not, maybe you know somebody who has and may find yourself sharing this with them in the future. There is nothing better than FREE information!

Eventually, I’m going to cover off every excuse we can come up with as to why people aren’t organic! There are so many reasons and fears. We have touched on why, we have covered affordability and now… we cover how to do it! I’ll try and share some personal experiences along the way.

1. Commit. Make a personal endeavor to really think about what kind of health you strive for, and what kind of foods will reflect that health in your home. Say it out loud or share the idea with a friend/spouse who will do it with you. Sounds simple right? It’s kind of like when my sister said “I will never smoke again”, forcing her mind, body and spirit to agree so that no matter how badly she would  be tempted, she won’t disappoint herself, her friends who she’s committed to and her body, which feels 1000 times better not doing it!

To keep that commitment motivated, break down each items into its ingredients and think about it on a basic health level, while keeping whatever goals you have in mind. This is how I would decipher ketchup at the grocery store:

“Tomatoes are the first ingredient. Tomatoes are a highly sprayed crop, often gassed in transportation on top of that. Do I use ketchup that often? No. Is the cost that much more? No. Will my child benefit from fewer pesticides? Yes. Is the idea of ketchup being organic worth it? Absolutely.” Reading the ingredient label is a must with this. Some ketchup companies use high fructose corn syrup and other potentially genetically modified ingredients. If you know which items you refuse to buy no matter what the cost, like MSG, colorings, corn, soy, beet sugar, anything you can’t pronounce, then that will make buying organic even easier!

This can be done for any food item you struggle to buy organically. Of course, there will be exceptions where price doesn’t justify the purchase, but always strive to stick to your commitment and seek the best item you can find.

2. Start looking. You are already in the right store, so start to become aware of the prices and availability of organic! I was at Superstore the other day and I was eying up the 5 pack of organic avocados for 3.99. As I was doing this, I saw someone my age walk past the organic ones, straight to the conventional bin and grab three avocados and carry on. The price? 1.39 each. That right you would have had two free organic avocados had you LOOKED. This week at my local neighborhood market, organic avocados are half the price of regular ones. The bananas here are 10 to 20 cents more a lb generally. How many lbs of bananas does the average home buy? Lets say 3lbs. That could be a giant increase of THIRTY CENTS to your bill. Seeing these items will get your accustomed quicker to the price differences, the options, and potentially even the feeling you get from organic food. Yes, I said FEELING! There is energy from everything and food is an extremely important fuel for our energy. I notice physical and emotional effects when I enter certain grocery stores so I learn to follow my body’s prompting to lead me to what it needs. Sounds crazy, but you’ll see! Try dipping your toes and your shopping cart into the health food aisle and organic produce sections to see where the transition is going to take you.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!!!!!!!!!

3. Do it one piece at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed, frustrated or ahead of yourself. Out of oatmeal? Replace it with better oatmeal. Out of sea salt? Now go look for celtic or himalayan salt. Need baking soda? Find some aluminum free soda next. Always wanted to try a non-wheat flour? Check the bulk section and see what is available. You need the items anyways so just decide to replace it with the new, healthier item! The cost becomes an incremental one that won’t break your bank. You might even find some killer sales and stock up on some items for your food storage (bonus!) You also aren’t wasting any food, nor are you wasting time or money shopping for a whole new kitchen. It really can take up to a full year to get through your stock – dressings, vitamins, soups, cereals, grains, condiments, frozen goods etc. and by the end of that year you will be so proud of your kitchen! I mean it, you’ll have the cleanest foods and feel amazing. Just ask anyone who has already been through the process. I love my kitchen and I have yet to have a friend buy healthier items and return back to their old ways. It noticeably changes your life for the better.

What is/was your excuse? (comment below!!!) I didn’t go organic until I learned about the pesticide use and soil degradation in conventionally grown foods.

Help other friends by sharing this information!

An Organic Mushroom's Energy Field

Russian physicist found a way to capture the quantum field (energy) of different objects through his GDV (gas discharge visualization technique). This photo proves that organic is far superior in energy for our bodies. Isn’t it amazing? Click on the photo to see Part 1 and 2 of the video (Warning, it has elevator music from Russia)